“Just laugh or you’ll go mad.”
It’s advice I hear in hospital corridors and grocery stores. In this era of ‘political correctness’ there are a surprising number of opportunities to snigger at the antics of dementia patients, our children’s disobedience, or someone else’s misfortune. So where do we draw the line?
Today I’m guest posting over at Paradigm Shift, so head on over to continue reading this post. It addresses an issue which is particularly pertinent to us as Watchers!
It’s easy, for us Watchers, whose lives are so embroiled with the pain of our Loved One, to forget those around us who aren’t Watchers. To overlook the lives of those Wider Watchers – our friends, our relations, our own other loved ones, who watch us as we Watch our suffering Loved Ones.
This is the final post is a short series about Wider Watchers. In Who are the Wider Watchers? We thought about how we are all actually Wider Watchers to some extent, and Wider Watchers (unlike Watchers) have the choice to Watch and to love, and this makes their sacrifice even more beautiful. In When our Wider Watchers hurt us? We pondered what it looks like to respond when Wider Watchers hurt us or our Loved One through their words or actions. In this post, we will discuss what it means to love our Wider Watchers, how to care for those around us who are not Watching as we are.
Why is this important?
Continue reading “How to love our Wider Watchers”
What about all the rest?
We’ve talked about Loved Ones, those of us who suffer day in and day out from either physical or mental illness. We’ve talked about Watchers, us whose lives are directly affected by their illness, and are called to love them, yet are unable to help them.
But what about those who fit into neither category? What about those who do not battle chronic pain, yet do not do life closely with those who do?
Do we need to address them?
Do they have a place on this blog?
Is their interaction with sickness and pain even slightly comparable to our own?
What if… they are us?
Continue reading “Who are our ‘Wider Watchers’?”
“… and there’s nothing left to say.”
Chronic illness is…well, chronic. For the most part, not only does it not end, but it remains the same. Of course there are changes, developments, progressions – but these are generally subtle in nature and may vary between individuals. Perhaps our Loved One is slowly but surely declining. Or maybe their sickness fluctuates without rhyme or reason. Some days they are well, others they are not. Or perhaps there is simply no visible change at all, just a long, monotonous pain.
Continue reading “Help! People keep asking…”
Answering questions about your Loved One takes a lot of getting used to.
Watching is unique in that people always have something to talk to you about.
Watching means that you, your Loved One, and their sickness, become common ground. All of a sudden topics that under normal circumstances would require sensitivity, caution, a relationship or ‘easing into’ become a free for all.
And that’s hard to get used to. It never really becomes normal. People will always expect you to be able to answer deep, painful questions at a drop of a hat. Questions like:
How are you feeling?
Is it hard having a mum/dad/sibling/spouse/friend who is sick all the time?
How is your Loved One?
Does your Loved One get depressed?
Does your Loved One know that you find their illness hard?
Continue reading “Wait! I don’t know how to answer all their questions.”